Vincent S. Moore Presents:
It’s A Small World After All
I intended to write a follow-up to my last column about black supervillains. However, other more important events are going on in the world and I feel compelled to talk about them.
I’m talking about the situation in Iran.
As a citizen of the world, I am naturally concerned about what is happening in that country that has so often been an aspect of a given week’s bad news cycle. As a human being, I am naturally concerned about the loss of life, those people who have sacrificed themselves for what they believe. Especially in Iran, giving one’s life--becoming a martyr--is of vast importance. I understand it in theory, even if I’m not sure of it in practice. But I am mostly concerned for a very personal reason.
A dear friend of mine lives in Iran. In Tehran, more specifically. And I am very concerned about her and her family’s safety.
See, twenty plus years ago, in the days before Facebook and Twitter and MySpace were even gleams in the eyes of their creators, I had penpals. I had a number of people I wrote letters to on a regular basis. Mostly young women. Hey, I was a young single geek guy that had a hard time meeting women here. So, I took my show on the road and made some friends in other places. It gave me something to do with my free time and made my world a little less lonely.
Somewhere along the way, I received a letter from Iran one fine day. It shocked me not so much because of the country of origin but because I hadn’t tried to contact anyone in that country. When I opened that letter, inside was a simple note on one page. The letter asked for me to reply to it, to make friends with its writer, a young lady whose name was Soory. I took a chance and answered.
That began a friendship that continues to this very day.
The letters gave way, in time, to emails and IMs and webcams (when I have a computer that works proper and isn’t too old for the software, that is), but the thoughts and feelings behind those messages--feelings of friendship and a desire to learn about folks in different places--have never changed.
We shared every triumph and tragedy. We talked about our families. We talked about our countries.
I learned she didn’t like politics and politicians. She learned I lived alone, not sharing a home with my extended family like she did.
We were and are close.
When September 11th happened, I sat shocked and somewhat afraid in my home, watching the fall of the Twin Towers. At that time, like so many times of stress and/or sadness in my life, I turned to writing to offer a way out and a relief. I went to my computer to write and only turned on Yahoo Messenger out of pure habit. Within a few minutes of my going online, here came a frantic stream of IMs from Soory. In her country, with its hatred for America, she had heard that something disastrous happened. She was reaching out to me, to make sure I was alright. That’s a true friend. Through the computer we talked as the news played in the background. We attempted to reassure each other that everything would be alright. That this disaster, this crime, would pass in time and that those responsible would be caught and brought to justice. These were feelings I shared with someone in a country that considers my home nation its enemy. For all the talk at the time of that day and the days that followed in 2001 of the world being on our side by our then president and the media, when Soory said she sympathized with us and was praying for those who died she made that sentiment feel real for me.
It was on that day I realized how truly small our world, this Earth, is.
A realization I am forced to deal with again as I watch the news unfold about the civil unrest in Iran.
I understand how small our world is yet how large it can be, how far away one can be from a friend in a time of need.
As of this writing, I last heard from my friend Soory on Friday night/Saturday morning. I am waiting to hear from her again, so that I know she is okay. Until I hear, I can only go about my day and my daily doings and I can pray that she is as safe as one can be when living in a city and a country that is fighting itself.
It’s not easy.
But I can’t put on a perv suit, as some comics people might call it, and fly across the world to save my friend and her people. They have to save themselves.
So for this time out, I beg your forgiveness for not wanting to talk about superheroes and supervillains, black, white or otherwise. No time to debate feminism. Or to trash snooty comics.
If any of you readers take a moment to think about it, you may know someone in Iran. Or you may know someone that knows someone. Or maybe you just give a damn about people that aren’t necessarily your immediate neighbors. If you do, then take a moment to think about those folks. I don’t care what faith you are or religion you might practice; sharing good thoughts for your fellow humans transcends all those divisive categories and should at this moment in time. Because people are dying in Iran, struggling to have their voices heard. The least we can do is send them some good vibes, no matter how New Age-y it sounds.
A young woman named Neda Sultani died by the bullet because she wanted to know what happened to her ballot. She wasn’t the only one to die so far. But she looked an awful lot like my friend. And so I am worried about that more than anything else right now.
Let’s all hope that the violence in Iran ends soon and that some good comes from it. Any good that happens in Iran is good for the US and the rest of the world.
After all, it is a small world.
Namaste until next time, folks.
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